Manchester City chairman Thaksin Shinawatra insists he still has a "good friendship" with former manager Sven Goran Eriksson.
He told the Daily Mail: "I want you to know that Sven is a good man. I brought him to the club and supported him with investment (more than £50m spent last season) and we still have a good friendship.
Thaksin added: "The team stopped playing! They stopped working! I could not take this. I understand you cannot win every game. A football is round; it does not bounce along a straight line. I can accept the unpredictable, but not such a fall. We had to make a change.
"Mark Hughes is an excellent appointment. The players need to be motivated, instead of playing like people who are not being paid any money!"